“I’ve felt like a robot for months…”

First, a quick health update. Above is a picture from my visit to the orthopedic surgeon; the X-ray, MRI, EMG and other tests revealed severe Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and something called De Quervain’s Tenosynovitis – and that I need hand surgery to recover the ability to play guitar without pain or nerve damage. So late in February, I had carpal tunnel release surgery, and a steroid injection as well to deal with those issues. More on that here in a minute.

Last month, I shared about how my 2017 ended, but here are some highlights from our Performing Artists Team’s overall work last fall:

  • Shared the gospel with approximately 4855 people through evangelistic concerts and conference speaking events
  • Lead ~4150 students and adults in worship in several conference events
  • Trained/discipled 108 students through our Worship Arts Training and other projects

One of the evangelistic projects was Anthem City, a band that toured late in the fall sharing a high-energy Christmas-themed rock show. Most of their shows were in settings where the holidays are difficult for people – homeless shelters, prisons, etc. During their tour, 238 people indicated that they made decisions to follow Jesus.

After one show in an Indiana prison, an inmate told the band “Man, you guys had me crying back there the whole time.  I’ve felt like a robot for months…today is the first time in a long time I’ve felt alive.”  In a different prison facility, Anthem City worked in partnership with Kairos, a well-established, dedicated prison ministry. The folks from Kairos told us there had been a baptism service shortly after Anthem City’s concert, and at least 3 of the people who had been baptized… had made the decision as a direct consequence of attending the concert.”

In other news, my trip to Spain for the last part of January and early February went well. Our team lead worship for a conference for a couple hundred short-term missionaries, which let them worship in English for the first time in 6 months. It also helped create some space for them to process and celebrate how God has been meeting them in their mission assignments.
Playing guitar for that trip was a doctor-sanctioned ‘test’ of my wrist, to see if the previous 6 weeks of non-surgical therapy had produced any relief. Sadly, it hadn’t helped, but it was a helpful diagnostic exercise, because then we knew surgery was the next step. The surgery went well, and the recovery should be 3-4 weeks, after which I should be cleared to play guitar again. After that, I’ll know how successful it really was. I’m hopeful.

As always, thanks for the sacrifices and prayers that allow us to do the work we do.  I’m excited to get back to doing the guitar-playing part of it!

Please pray…
…for my surgical recovery.  We have other projects (worship arts training events, concert outreach tours, etc.) on the calendar and more in the planning stages, and I am looking forward to getting back in the saddle, so to speak.